Verizon Communications will be offering a new, more personalized TV package this Sunday to give customers more flexibility to buy only channels of their choice, the fad which providers of pay-TV recently adapted to be in the competition. Starting tomorrow, consumers can sign up for a slim package which includes ABC, Fox, CNN, Food Network, AMC and others.
Both existing and new consumers can pick a bundle of channels of their choice, rather than paying for channels that they do not watch. Channels can be of different genres like sports, lifestyle, pop culture and kids. Verizon’s fiber optic service custom TV is getting near to a la carte, with swappable bundles of cable channels.
A Verizon spokeswoman told PCMag that they listen to what the customers want, and offer industry first’s custom TV. Verizon Communications said the flexibility and ease of their offering is distinctive, as customers can order online, via the FiOS Interactive Media Guide or simply call them.
Starting on April 19, Verizon Communications will offer a new TV package, priced $55 monthly as standalone or without Internet. There is also the double play plan in $65, that is, TV and Internet while triple play costs $75 for TV, Internet and phone. Each of the plan has 36 basic channels, plus two bundles, which has 10 to 17 channels each.
Verizon Communications gives customers the flexibility to pick the channels that they want to watch. The costs differ, and depend on Mbps in each category. Any additional channel pack is priced $10 monthly. Customers can unsubscribe or change channel packs after a month. Verizon Communications FiOS President Tami Erwin said that customers want to be flexible in turning channel subscription on and off. FiOS serves about five million video subscribers.
Competitor Dish Network’s Sling TV offers $20 per month plus $5 for additional genre packs, but this package does not come with the monthly Internet service. Meanwhile, ComCast’s TV package offer is also lower priced, while content firms like HBO are offering stand-alone streaming subscriptions.
Most pay TV services resisted the a la carte approach for years, as they claim it would lead to less diversity in channels and increase pricing. In such approach, the customers pick the channels they want to pay, instead of paying for a bundle of more than 300 channels. Nielsen reported last year that American TV viewers received an average increase of channels over five years by 46 percent, but the number of channels they watch is just about 17.
Consumers are starting to cut their TV package subscriptions in favor of less expensive online services like those of Hulu LLC, Netflix Inc, HBO NOW and YouTube. iPhone and Apple TV maker Apple Inc. also plans to offer a TV service, with “skinny “ channel bundles in the fall.
Verizon Communication’s offering of a new TV package, maybe for now, not exactly a la carte, but it tends to go to that direction. It also highlights the threat which it faces with other pay-TV providers, from those who provide streaming videos.
By Judith Aparri
Photo courtesy of Paladin27 – Flickr License